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Animators Survival Kit

The T S Eliot Prize for Poetry

The T S Eliot Prize is an annual prize for a poetry collection awarded by the Poetry Book Society, which was established in 1953 by T S Eliot himself. The Prize was first awarded on the 40th anniversary of the Society's founding, with the prize money provided by Eliot's widow. The winner receives £15,000 while the other shortlisted authors each receive £1000.

Poetry collections in English and first published in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland are eligible. The winner is decided in the January following the calendar year during which entries must have been published, selected from a shortlist of ten announced the previous October.

Don Paterson is the only poet to have won the award twice. For 2011, John Burnside's Black Cat Bone became just the third collection to win both this and the Forward Prize, the two most prestigious awards in the UK dedicated solely to poetry, after Ted Hughes' The Birthday Letters in 1998 and Sean O'Brien's The Drowned Book in 2007.

The 2011 award had earlier taken a controversial turn when one of the shortlisted authors, Alice Oswald, withdrew her book from consideration, in protest at the Prize's sponsorship deal with hedge fund investor Aurum Funds. Shortly thereafter, John Kinsella also pulled out.

The 2016 winner, announced 16th January, was Jacob Polley for Jackself.

2016 shortlist

Void Studies
(Paperback)
Rachael Boast
 
Void Studies, Rachel Boast's extraordinary new collection, realizes a project that the French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud had proposed, but never written. Etudes...
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Measures of Expatriation
(Paperback)
Vahni Capildeo
 
New collection from well-loved and experimental Trinidadian poet, and 2014 Forward Prize judge
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The Blind Roadmaker
(Paperback)
Ian Duhig
 
A brilliant and eclectic new collection from the Forward Prize-winning poet.
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Interference Pattern
(Paperback)
J. O. Morgan
 
Acts out its own subjects - dualities, ambiguities, boundaries - through physical dislocation, through patterns of interference, this is a collage of many voices: eager or dispassionate, unreliable or matter-of-fact...
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The Seasons of Cullen Church
(Hardback)
Bernard O'Donoghue
 
Shortlisted for the 2016 T S Eliot Prize, this collection of expert lyric poems from a Whitbread Poetry Award winner movingly animates the scenery and characters of his childhood in...
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Falling Awake
(Paperback)
Alice Oswald
 
Written to be read aloud, this book features poems that attend to the organic shapes and sounds and momentum of the language as it's spoken as well as how it's...
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Jackself
(Paperback)
Jacob Polley
 
Jackself is the fourth collection from one of Britain's finest poets, and sees Jacob Polley at the height of his powers. In one of the most original books of poetry...
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Say Something Back
(Paperback)
Denise Riley
 
Say Something Back will allow readers to see just why the name of Denise Riley has been held in such high regard by her fellow poets for so long. The...
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Every Little Sound
(Paperback)
Ruby Robinson
 
A debut poetry collection exploring the separateness and connectedness of human experience in relationships and the capacity we have to harm and to love.
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The Remedies
(Paperback)
Katharine Towers
 
Katharine Towers' second collection is a book of small wonders. From a house drowning in roses to crickets on an August day, from Nerval's lobster to the surrealism of...
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Previous winners

2015 Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe

2014 Fire Songs by David Harsent

2013 Parallax by Sinéad Morrissey

2012 Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds

2011 Black Cat Bone by John Burnside

2010 White Egrets by Derek Walcott

2009 The Water Table by Philip Gross

2008 Nigh-No-Place by Jen Hadfield

2007 The Drowned Book by Sean O’Brien

2006 District and Circle by Seamus Heaney

2005 Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy

2004 Reel by George Szirtes

2003 Landing Light by Don Paterson

2002 Dart by Alice Oswald

2001 The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson

2000 The Weather in Japan by Michael Longley

1999 Billy’s Rain by Hugo Williams

1998 Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

1997 God’s Gift to Women by Don Paterson

1996 Subhuman Redneck Poems by Les Murray

1995 My Alexandria by Mark Doty

1994 The Annals of Chile by Paul Muldoon (currently out of print but other selections available, e.g. Poems 1968-98)

1993 First Language by Ciarán Carson cCurrently out of print) 

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